The most Popular Posts of the past seven days.

May 16, 2021

Paying The Population Piper


 

     New Census numbers show Alabama's population decline is continuing.

     Washington Post diagrams trace the changes in state populations over the past century, starting in 1920 (when Alabama ranked 18th) till 2020, by which time the state had fallen to 24th. The paper reports:

 

"Over the past century, Florida has gone from the least to most populous state in the region, rising from 33rd largest a century ago to the third largest today.

Starting in the 1920s the state benefited from what Gregory calls “the pursuit of the lifestyle,” as northerners and immigrants sought more temperate weather and economic opportunities.

At the same time, racial segregation and discrimination spurred more than 6 million Black Americans to leave the Southeast. Alabama and Mississippi are among the states that have repeatedly fallen back in the rankings."

 

     I've referred to that population loss as the state paying the "Wallace Tax". 

    That former Governor's vicious antics in the 50's and 60's paved the way for the decline that continues today...helped along by insistent policies protecting old-time racism, like Kay Ivey's confederate protection law.

 

May 15, 2021

Coming To Birmingham: The Van Gogh immersive Experience


 

 

 We don't know when, but the hugely popular high tech exhibit will be at The Birmingham Museum of Art...sometime soon. 

 

Watch this CBS News story about the exhibit! https://www.cbsnews.com/video/immersive-van-gogh-exhibit-thrives-in-chicago/

STD Report

 Montgomery is ranked 8th in the U.S. for Sexually Transmitted Diseases

 

Montgomery, AL

Montgomery, AL
  • STD Cases / 100K

    2,365

  • Metro Population

    225,763

  • HIV Cases

    1,470

  • Chlamydia Cases

    2,569

  • Gonorrhea Cases

    1,226

  • Syphilis Cases

    75

 The numbers are from a report by Innerbody Research, which finds:


"After a 6-month, Covid-related delay, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) finally released its latest Sexually Transmitted Disease Surveillance Report last month, and the numbers are disturbing. For the 6th consecutive year, the STD rate in the United States hit a record high.

Covid-19 has understandably dominated the news over the past 14 months. As we head into recovery and our economy begins to open up in the summer, it’s important not to lose sight of the viruses that predated the pandemic and currently infect over 110 million Americans, with over 20 million new infections each year."

See the full ranking HERE

F-35 Saga Continues

 CNN Reports:

"The official in charge of purchasing military hardware for the US Air Force suggested slashing the total number of Lockheed Martin F-35 jets for the service by more than half late last year, according to two former defense officials involved in the discussions who spoke with CNN. The news comes as Congressional criticism of the most expensive weapons program in US history grows."

This matters to Montgomery and Alabama because a squadron of the jet fighters is due to deploy with the Alabama Air National Guard in Montgomery in 2023.

See the full CNN story HERE.

May 14, 2021

Capri Update

 

May 14, 2021
WHAT NEXT?

I took down the Wear A Mask marquee this morning.

I assume you have all heard the Center for Disease Control's advisory that vaccinated people may now go about their lives without masks.

And I am going to guess 99%+ of you are, if not fully vaccinated, well on the way there.

This email is really some thinking out loud and second guessing.

Our first goal is to make sure you feel safe coming to our theatre. Since re-opening last November, we have tried to make the Capri theatre as safe as possible for people to attend movies. With the exception of a few outside rentals, people coming to the Capri have been checked, masked and distanced, and have been co-operative with the protocols.

Thank you for working with us.

Right before our shutdown for projector failure, we were starting to see more of our regulars who had completed their vaccinations coming back to the movies. We look forward to all of you making your way back to the Capri.

We still want the Capri to be as safe as possible, but there is very little we can do to protect the unvaccinated from themselves. Barring a legitimate Vaccine Passport, all we can do is ask, and anyone who wants to can lie to us.

Masks will no longer be required in the Capri Theatre, but feel free to wear one until you feel safe. If you are not fully vaccinated, please do wear one – for your safety as well as everyone in the theatre.

Social distancing has generally been easy to maintain because we have so few people attending. Now you can sit with your friends if you want. If you still want to keep your distance from people, the formula is two seats on either side of you, and a row in front and in back of you.

We'll be taking down the signs and getting rid of the seat stickers, putting away the plexiglass shield, and increasing the seat availability. But not all at once. The GDC has not issued any specific guidelines for theatres. We want to wait a week or two before pretending none of this ever happened.

As for returning to full-week programming, we need to get the attendance numbers up to make it worthwhile. Our biggest challenge post COVID is figuring out how the motion picture business has changed and what we have to do to survive. I'd hate to have made it through only to collapse at the end.

Here's to a return to normal movie going, and thank you very much for the support as we all struggled through this. I know we've made a difference.

Martin McCaffery
Director
Capri Theatre

What is NOT written (UPDATED...See bottom of posting)

     There was a news release from Hyundai/Kia this week about the electric cars they will produce in coming years.

     What's missing from the release is the name "Alabama"... home to the only Hyundai manufacturing plant in the U.S.

     So what is the huge plant's part in the electric car future, if there is one?

Hyundai Motor Group to Invest $7.4 Billion In the U.S. by 2025
  • Hyundai Motor and Kia to build American-made battery electric vehicles
  • Hyundai Motor’s U.S. facility to begin EV production in 2022
  • EV output will be implemented in line with market conditions and local EV policy
  • Hyundai Motor Group committed to advancing the hydrogen ecosystem in the U.S.
  • The Group will also further invest in robotics, urban air mobility (UAM) and autonomous driving technology to ensure future competitiveness
  • (See the entire news release HERE.)

In August of 2020, a state-operated public Relations website "reported":

An official with Hyundai Motor Manufacturing of Alabama said there are currently no plans to add EV production to the plant in Montgomery, which produces the Sonata and Elantra sedans and the Santa Fe SUV.

 So where does that leave the Montgomery plant?


 Reuters reports:

The group's Hyundai Motor Co will begin electric vehicle production at a U.S. facility in 2022, while affiliate Kia Corp also plans to build electric vehicles in the United States. Hyundai has a factory in Alabama, while Kia produces cars at a plant in Georgia.

"We are reviewing options including expanding on our production facility after we’ve taken a closer look at U.S. market conditions and U.S. government’s new EV policy," Hyundai said in a statement to Reuters.

 

Still...NO mention of Alabama or Montgomery in that original news release. Hmmm.

  

The Advertiser fills in the banks:

"A company spokesman confirmed Thursday that the electric vehicles will be made in Montgomery at Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama beginning in 2022. 

"Further details such as the model, etc., will be announced at a later time," Hyundai Motor America spokesman Michael Stewart said."

 

 

May 13, 2021

Daily Beast Takes on "Mo"

headline in a Daily Beast story:

MAGA Moron Mo Brooks Proves Alabama Isn’t Sending Its Best

SOME STOOGE

The House stooge running for the Senate, now with Trump’s enthusiastic endorsement, isn’t dog-whistling so much as plain old whistling. 

 

Full Column:


Despite steep competition, the state of Alabama has given America some of its stupidest and nastiest Republican politicians.

There’s Jefferson Beauregard Sessions, the hideous yet hapless Trumpist who mentored hatemonger Stephen Miller. Roy Banned-From-Some-Malls Moore. Coach-turned-Sen. Tommy Tuberville, who gave an interview where he said so many stupid things (misidentifying the three branches of government, saying the U.S. fought in WWII to “free Europe of Socialism”) that it crashed the website of the Alabama Daily News.

But I submit to you that the stupidest, nastiest Alabama Republican of them all may be Rep. Mo Brooks. Yes, Mo (short for Morris and, unlike the leader of the real Stooges, this congressman and follower spells it without an “e”) says things like “racism is over” and “criticism of Jeff Sessions is part of a war on whites.” But then a lot of GOP House members say stupid, racist, appalling things.

What takes Mo from common stooge to MAGA Moron No. 1 is that he’s running for outgoing Sen. Richard Shelby’s seat in 2022. And Mo already started holding fundraisers at the Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, which, for those playing along at home, is not in Alabama.

Trump, who endorsed Roy Moore’s 2017 Senate run (to fill the seat Sessions gave up to become the reality host president’s attorney general and personal whipping boy) after all those women came out and said Justice Ten Commandments tried to have sex with them when they were 14 or 15 and he was in his thirties, has already declared that “Mo Brooks has my Complete and Total Endorsement for the U.S. Senate representing the Great State of Alabama. He will never let you down!”

A couple weeks later, he told Fox that “It looks like he’s got clear sailing, since Mo “just went up 41 points.” I don’t know what points those were supposed to be, since there was no poll showing any such thing. Trump, who usually saves his lies for himself, loves this stooge enough to lie on his behalf. But why?

It’s not just because Mo is willing to have campaign events that the former president can profit off. No, despite his limited intelligence Mo has finally distinguished himself from the herd. More than any other member of Congress, more even than Louie Gohmert, Mo Brooks has been the strongest, most unapologetic advocate of Trump’s ongoing attempted insurrection.
On Jan. 6, Mo stood on the Mall wearing a yellow slicker and a camouflage hat that read, “Fire Pelosi,” and said: “Today is the day that American patriots start taking down names and kicking ass.” Soon after, that very same crowd broke into the Capitol and trashed the place while chanting “Hang Mike Pence!”

According to The Intercept, “During his remarks, (Mo) asked the crowd to consider the American ancestors who sacrificed their blood and “sometimes their lives” to create the “greatest nation in world history.”

“So I have a question for you,” he continued. “Are you willing to do the same?”

That’s not a dog whistle so much as a plain old whistle.

And that’s not even the whole story on Mo’s involvement with the Capitol riots. Fraudster Ali Alexander claimed in a now-deleted Periscope video that three of the shittiest Republican stooges in Congress—Brooks, Andy Biggs and Congressman Paul “The Dentist” Gosar helped him plan the “Stop the Steal” event. In a sane world, this might hurt Mo’s Senate prospects, but in Trump’s Republican party, active efforts to undermine democracy are a big plus.

Mo, who voted just after the insurrection against certifying Biden’s presidential win and in defense of Trump’s Yuge Lie, did put out a statement declaring that “I ALWAYS condemn lawlessness and violence of any kind and in the strongest terms. As a strong supporter of the Rule of Law, and as a former target of Socialist Democrat gunfire myself, I don’t care what political views motivate the violence.” OK.

Later, he put out a bizarre and long-winded statement whining that the insurrectionists he’d rallied had “destroyed two months of debate and work” trying to dismantle democracy and contest the results of the contest Trump clearly lost, and declaring that he’d “never apologize” for the speech he gave just before they rioted:

“As one of America’s most effective conservative leaders, I defend my honor and reputation against scurrilous, George Orwellian, 1984, Socialist Democrats Politics of Personal Destruction.” Mo’s reputation is gold with Donald Trump, which tells you everything you need to know about this Southern gentleman’s honor.

Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) is suing Mo (and others) for their involvement with the violent insurrection. Swalwell’s lawyer, Philip Andonian, told Punchbowl he’s having a very tough time pinning down the congressman. "We have been attempting to serve our complaint on Mo Brooks for more than a month," Andonian said. "I talked to staffers in his D.C. office who promised a response from someone, which never came. I sent the complaint and a waiver of service form in a detailed email to his chief of staff and counsel, which to date remains unanswered." Mo has so much respect for the rule of law that he’s currently dodging a subpoena.

I called Swalwell, who told me that “Mo Brooks got exactly the result he wanted on Jan. 6 when he encouraged an angry mob to ‘start taking down names and kicking ass.’ The mob stopped the joint session, terrorized Congress, and injured hundreds of police officers. But we don’t rule by mob, we rule by law. And Mo can run from the law, but its just reach will catch up with him.”

Or, as the former Alabama congressman, Dr. Parker Griffith, put it: "I've been in that Capitol. It is sacred ground for Americans, and to see that disrespect, to see things being stolen, windows being broken, somebody hanging from the balcony, those aren't Americans."

But, sadly, Mo Brooks is exactly where Republicans in America are.

May 11, 2021

How old is your home?


Unless a disaster strikes, it is not unusual for a  home in the U.S. to last over a century.

But as an article in The Robb Report points out, homes in Japan are built to last a mere 22 years.

"The Western concept of a residence as a stable and secure long-term investment—more tree than flower—that will gradually increase in value over time directly opposes the Japanese view, which sees a house as a temporary structure that expires with its owner. A Japanese building is a short-lived consumer product, not so different from a car or an iPhone, that undergoes a period of fixed-term depreciation, set by the government at 22 years, after which it’s considered fit for the scrap heap. If an Englishman’s—or Westener’s—home is his castle, a Japanese one is a worthless piece of single-use plastic." 

My house is 110 years young, and short of a disaster, it likely will last another century or more.


Montgomery in 1905

     A 1905 photo of Lower Dexter "looking northwest toward Commerce and North Court Streets."

    The photo is from the State Archives and was posted on the "Times Gone By" Facebook page

    Note that horse-drawn carts are still the predominant means of transportation...but there are a couple of automobiles visible too.

 

https://digital.archives.alabama.gov/digital/api/singleitem/image/photo/31095/default.jpg?highlightTerms=Transportation&fbclid=IwAR2MlJ8UH15LrwBNW0Aeq2k6vya3tARAP9gGgno20bWsZ2Aou-aq59FJHbk

May 10, 2021

Alfa? Alfa? Deaths from agriculture pollution? Comment???


 

From a Washington Post article about a newly released study:


"Now, a first-of-its-kind study shows that air pollution from Duplin County farms is linked to roughly 98 premature deaths per year, 89 of which are linked to emissions directly caused by hogs. Those losses are among more than 17,000 annual deaths attributable to pollution from farms across the United States, according to research published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Animal agriculture is the worst emitter, researchers say, responsible for 80 percent of deaths from pollution related to food production. Gases associated with manure and animal feed produce small, lung-irritating particles capable of drifting hundreds of miles. These emissions now account for more annual deaths than pollution from coal power plants. Yet, while pollution from power plants, factories and vehicles is restricted under the Clean Air Act, there is less regulation of air quality around farms."

Happy 35th!

Alabama Heritage is celebrating!

Celebrate 35 Years With Us!

 Alabama Heritage 35th Anniversary

"Although the traditional 35th anniversary is "coral," at Alabama Heritage we are celebrating our 35 years of telling the stories of Alabama that educate, inspire, and entertain by providing you with great content and special offers.

Be sure to follow us on social media to find out what are our Top 35 issues and our Top 35 features of all time. Also be on the lookout for extra discounts and fun products to help ring in this special year for our team. 

By the way ... we wouldn't have made it this far without loyal readers like YOU! Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!"
 


When Police are not above the law

Headline of the morning, from Oregon

An off-duty cop ‘terrorized’ a family displaying a BLM flag. Police drove him home without arrest.

"The responding officers did not check (the off-duty cop) Teets for weapons, according to Castaneda’s tort claim. Then, Schuetz drove Teets to his nearby home, “only blocks away from the Castaneda family,” according to the tort claim, and helped the intoxicated officer to his front door.

The officers who interviewed Castaneda on Halloween did not tell her that they had identified Teets as the man who attacked her home, nor did they divulge that they had already taken him home.

....

Even after providing Teets’s name, investigators did not tell Castaneda that he was a police officer. According to her tort claim, she only discovered that Teets worked for the Forest Grove Police Department after she searched for his name on the Internet.

Her lawyers also alleged that police did not document the possible political motives at play when Teets targeted Castaneda’s home. The responding officers did not turn on body cameras during the investigation as required by department policy, nor did they note the existence of the Black Lives Matter flags prominently displayed on Castaneda’s property in their reports."

 
READ the entire story  HERE in the Washington Post!

 

May 9, 2021

South Alabama Weather Threat

 


Five Decades before Rosa---"The Rosa Parks of D.C."


      Not to take anything away from Rosa (as if anyone could!), but 50 years earlier, another woman in Washington D.C. took a similar courageous stand.

 "the stand (Barbara Pope) took against racism in transportation nearly 50 years before Rosa Parks’s bus ride: In August 1906, Pope boarded a train at Union Station and traveled into Virginia, in the process challenging Virginia’s Jim Crow law requiring segregation on trains and streetcars. She soon gained the support of Du Bois and his Niagara Movement, a precursor to the NAACP. And her case became one of the first steps along the path to the end of legal segregation — leading the way toward the NAACP’s hallmark 1954 Supreme Court victory in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka."

 Read her story in the Washington Post Magazine HERE.

 


Recommended Reading


 

The New York Times this morning reports on an informal project to place stickers around the city naming well-known New Yorkers who enslaved people.

 “We’ve all been given this education around, ‘Slavery happened in the South, and the North were the good guys,’ when in reality it was happening here,” Ms. (Maria) Robles said.

<snip>

"For parts of the 17th and 18th centuries, the city was home to the largest urban slave population in mainland North America, Dr. Harris said. At one point, 40 percent of Manhattan households owned slaves, most of them Black women doing domestic work, she explained. The local economy was also heavily dependent on the slave trade: Wall Street banks and New York brokers financed the cotton trade and shipped the crop to New England and British textile mills, according to Jonathan Daniel Wells, a history professor at the University of Michigan."

FULL N.Y. Times story is HERE.